AIRPORT CHOICES - AIRPORT INFORMATION
So before you arrive in Germany you might want to know a bit about the airport that you are going to land at, there are a number of airports that you could fly into depending on your airline and country of origin. However most people will probably fly into Berlin or one of the small airports around Leipzig.
For WGT 2017/2018 most of us will (probably after many years of waiting and design faux pas) be flying into the new Airport at Schonefeld called Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Berlin Tegal and the old terminal at Schonefeld will be closed shortly after the new airport opens. Unfortunately at this stage I cannot provide any more information than you will find by searching the Internet yourself. Of course you maybe lucky enough to be able to fly into the small regional Airport north of Leipzig called 'Leipzig/Halle'.
SCHONEFELD - CURRENT AIRPORT
Used by the majority of European carriers Berlin Schönefeld Airport (Flughafen Berlin Schönefeld) is an international airport located near the town of Schönefeld in Brandenburg, directly at the southern border of Berlin and 18 km (11 mi) southeast of the city centre. Schönefeld was the major civil airport of East Germany (GDR), and the only airport serving East Berlin. Today, it is the smaller of the two airports in Berlin after Berlin Tegel Airport. To be honest its well past its sell by date, if you turn up early they wont let you through security as there is just not enough room the other side for everybody to sit, and at busy times you will be called to your gate very early (and end up sitting if you are lucky, if not standing for ages for your flight)
Schönefeld Airport is situated outside the city proper, unlike Berlin Tegel Airport. Noise pollution is, therefore, less of an issue at Schönefeld. The airport will be merged into Berlin Brandenburg Airport when it opens in 2016 or later. Schönefeld Airport saw a major increase in passenger numbers over the recent years, which was caused by the opening of bases for both easyJet and Germanwings.
SCHONEFELD TO BERLIN HAUPTBAHNHOF / SUDKREUZ
There is a regular train service to Berlin Hauptbahnhof, exit the airport and follow the walkway to your left towards the station...there are numerous ticket machines in the tunnel and some on the platform, remember to take change if you have any. If you have pre-booked tickets to Leipzig then you normally change at Südkreuz which is Platform 9 (as I remember)...dont worry about the time of this train, just jump on the first train to Südkreuz as you dont have a reserved seat, whilst there is little to do at Südkreuz there is even less at Schonefeld. Berlin Hauphtbahnhof is a great station full of shops and restaurants, worth going to if you have more time.
IMPORTANT: When you buy your train ticket from Schonefeld airport to Südkreuz or Berlin Hauptbahnhof remember to get an 'ABC' ticket, Schonefeld is in Zone C, if you only purchase an AB ticket you will be fined at least €50 per person (the ticket officers / gorillas will be waiting in plain clothes on the train for all the unfortunate travellers who miss this, and believe me its easy to miss as Schonefeld is right on the border of Zone C)
TEGEL - CURRENT AIRPORT
Used by many long haul carriers Berlin Tegel Airport (German: Flughafen Berlin-Tegel "Otto Lilienthal") is the main international airport of Berlin, ahead of Berlin Schönefeld Airport. It is christened after Otto Lilienthal and the fourth busiest airport in Germany with just over 19.59 million passengers in 2013. Tegel Airport is a hub for Air Berlin, and serves as a base for Germanwings and a focus city for Lufthansa.
It is situated in Tegel, a section of the northern borough of Reinickendorf, 8 km (5.0 mi) northwest of the city centre of Berlin. Tegel Airport is notable for its hexagonal main terminal building around an open square, which makes for walking distances as short as 30 m (98 ft) from the aircraft to the terminal exit. The airport is scheduled to be closed when the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport opens in 2017 or later.
TEGEL TO BERLIN HAUPTBAHNHOF
There is a bus service to Berlin Hauptbahnhof from directly outside of the airport, try to gain some low denomination notes as the bus driver wont be happy if you hand over a €50 note. The trip takes about 20 minutes and drops you right outside the station. If a bus is not for you then there are plenty of taxis and the cost is not that high. There is plenty to do at Berlin Hauptbahnhof, loads of shops and restaurants.
BERLIN BRANDENBURG AIRPORT - FUTURE AIRPORT
Berlin Brandenburg Airport (German: Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt) is an international airport under construction, located adjacent to the current Berlin Schönefeld Airport in Schönefeld 18 kilometres (11 mi) south of the city centre of Berlin, the capital of Germany. It is intended to replace both Schönefeld and Berlin Tegel Airport, and to become the single commercial airport serving Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg, an area with a combined 6 million inhabitants. With a projected annual passenger number of around 27 million, Berlin Brandenburg Airport would become the third busiest airport in Germany, superseding Düsseldorf Airport, and one of the fifteen busiest in Europe.
Air Berlin, Germanwings and easyJet are expected to become the leading carriers at Berlin Brandenburg Airport, having announced the intent to relocate and keep their hub / base operations there which they already maintain at Tegel and Schönefeld airports today.
Originally planned to be opened in 2010, Berlin Brandenburg Airport has encountered a series of delays due to poor construction planning, management, execution and corruption. As of January 2014, it is known the airport will not open in 2014, but no date has been fixed for when the airport will be inaugurated. Since the still necessary (re-)construction work is estimated to take 18 months, and has not started yet, any dates prior to late 2017 are considered unlikely
The terminal building will be situated between the two runways, creating a midfield airport on top of the underground train station. On opening, the terminal will be one of the most modern terminal buildings in the world. It will have an initial capacity of up to 30 million passengers, but expansion through the construction of two additional satellite terminals in parallel to the initial building are planned, with all necessary permissions from authorities already granted. Final capacity is planned at 50 million passengers.
A small airport, not as small as Altenburg, but not as big as Schonefeld. The airport has all the features of most airports, with two terminals, half a dozen passport control desks and a few luggage belts. There is a small café and an ATM near the main entrance. There is a train station under the airport with a direct link to Leipzig, and also a display of when the next train arrives just past the baggage reclaim belts. The train trip takes approximately twenty minutes. There are taxi's outside the airport, its not that far down to Leipzig City centre.
Various maps of the the various airports
Top Left: Berlin Schonefeld Airport
Top Middle: Berlin Airports in relation to Berlin
Top Right: Berlin Tegal Airport
Middle Left: Berlin Brandenburg Airport
Middle: Berlin Brandenburg Airport rail links to Berlin
Bottom Left: Leipzig Airport in relation to Leipzig City
Bottom Middle: Leipzig Airport